all this stuff

I have lots more pictures and notes from the trip to France! I was going to cover one day of the trip per blogging-day for the next two weeks, but time keeps getting away from me. Not that I can really claim to be busy, it’s mostly Facebook and napping. Well, and cooking and cleaning. But I started a new job today! I could write about that! Tragically, I had to leave my job here in order to take this new one. It really did enjoy that job too, and I’ll miss my former co-workers, but there are rules about how many hours I can work on a certain type of contract, so something had to go. I work here now, and so far I really like it. (By “so far”, I mean that I have met my co-workers and I know where the staff fridge is and how to log in to the office email. I haven’t had any contact with actual students yet.)

Even better, I work right around the corner from DrBob now. Let the stalking begin!

Can’t blog about the kids, sorry. Something about privacy, blah blah whatever. I think I can say that Ignatz is in his final year of high school (proud mama!) but that’s it.

The cat gets her own entry. Stay tuned.

Song du jour of the day: Ooo, today YouTube reminded me that I really like Crossroad, by Tracy Chapman.

on the 30th of August

We picked up the rental car and filled it with luggage and knitting and an electric guitar and drove south! For, like, seven hours! And nobody died or even threw up, which is quite an achievement for the Carsick Family. All credit is due to the car, which was an Audi A4 Quattro that weighs more than twice as much as the Twingo (it really does, we checked). Dayum, it was like driving the Enterprise, folks. Built in talky navigation with two screens to tell you when to turn next, how many kms you still have to go, when you can expect to arrive, and they even tell you when you’re running out of gas and offer to direct you to the nearest gas station. You can connect your phone to the car via Bluetooth and play your own music and even field phone calls, we learned by doing. Cup holders! Air conditioning! A trunk you close by pushing a button! Also it was enormous and very difficult to steer. It was a miracle we didn’t scrape the hell out of it on all those narrow French streets. We called it the Great White.


Panorama shot from the front stoop.

Anyway. We have these friends with whom we occasionally travel, another family with a son about Ignatz’s age and a daughter who is 8. We were all in this cottage right on the church square in this village called Saint Restitut. All of the buildings are made from this beige local stone, with shutters painted different pastel colors, a thing about which I rhapsodized occasionally, to be met with much masculine eye-rolling. But it was so pretty! The house was good too – I don’t know how they fit 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in there, but we certainly had enough space, even without the patio, pool, and sitting area out back.


Guess how much time we spent out here.

We ate all our meals out there (except when we were out touristing, of course). The first two or three days, le Mistral was very busy whipping the trees around and shaking tree-shrapnel into our breakfasts (we wondered if this was the origin of the famous Herbes de Provence). The wind was a good thing, though, because it kept the heat from feeling too… well, hot. Then the wind died and the days got a little bakey, but we were still happy to be there.

The town was hella picturesque and all, but didn’t even have a bakery. So we had to drive into Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux every morning, once one of the dads was awake, and hit the bakery and/or grocery store, so we usually sat down to “breakfast” around 12:30. So, hm, a lot less tourism happened than I really wanted, because getting an early start proved to be a challenge utterly impossible. Also, the place was really nice, so it was kind of hard to leave.

More tomorrow. I am determined to get back to blogging, folks.

Song du jour of the day: Reconciliation, by Noyau Dur. Why don’t I have more French music? I should remedy that…

various and sundry

I didn’t go to the Zumba class the second week, but not because of my ex-therapist. Because of a migraine. I did go last week, and she was still there. Must try harder to scare her off.

We took Hecate to the vet in June for a checkup, flea meds, de-worming and vaccine update. She cried in the car on the way there, refused to leave her carrier at the visit, and pooped in her cat-carrier on the drive home. This month, when we took her back for some booster shots, she repeated the ritual. I don’t like this ritual, especially the pooping in the car. We really need to find a more local vet, but our section of Heidelberg has mostly dentists.

I’ve been doing monthly fitness challenges on Facebook and now I can do like 10 pushups in a row. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I grew lettuce! On the balcony! And we ate it and didn’t die! I feel like a total Earth Mother now. Let’s see what the tomatoes do…

Song du jour of the day: Let’s Get Loud, by JLo at the Women’s World Cup! Because football starts again tomorrow and yay. (Yes it’s a different kind of football. No I don’t care.)

one of the reasons public transit sucks…

… is that, when you use it to get to a Zumba class that you’re trying for the first time, and your ex-therapist walks in? That moment when you can bang your head gently against your steering wheel while intoning “oh god, oh no, oh god, oh no” is delayed for much too long. And the bus driver probably won’t let you use his steering wheel, even if you could explain why you needed it in Pfälzisch.

But I did enjoy the Zumba class. But I’m not sure if I can go back. Maybe I will go back. But I will definitely take the car.

Song du jour of the day: Running Up That Hill, by Placebo


kitty update

Hecate Moonbeam Aveline Nightwalker Spookypants has emerged from the basement and apparently decided that all our purple throw pillows are belong to her. She looks very picturesque on them, though good pictures do not yet abound, due to crappy celephone camera and poor light. She will sit on your lap and submit to head skritchles if you hold still long enough, so that’s progress, but she still bolts at any sudden move (and we are a family of poor impulse control, oops). As her third name indicates, she is still nocturnal, and has been meowing me awake aroud 5 a.m. for the last three days. This was bearable during the long weekend, but I expect it’ll be harder to cope with when I have to do things like go to work. Still and all, I am pleased that she has calmed down a bit. We want her to be happy here.

(Edited to add photo)

(Edited to add photo)

Song du jour of the day: Hold on to You, by Madrugada

new cat, not the same as the old cat

Oh, right, here’s a Thing that’s been happening. Um, well, you know Lilu died at the end of January and it was horrid and I grieved (and still do). I am croggled: how does the loss of an 8-pound cat make our gigantic house seem so empty?

So in April I started campaigning for a cat from the local shelter. I didn’t want to raise another cat from infancy – turns out you get too attached when you do that, and besides, shelter cats need rescuing. After considerable debate (A Certain Husband may have changed his mind a few more times than was strictly necessary) we settled on a black foundling named Mona. She still needed to be fixed (the pound is very against unnecessary kittens) and vaccinated and given ID-tattoos (badass pirate kitty). Then she needed 10 days to recover, and someone from the pound visited our house to make sure we know what we’re getting into and we’re not living in filth or buying cats to feed to our alligators or something, and then on Friday we got to take her home and change her name – because srsly, James Taylor wrote a song about a pig named Mona and that’s a song virus I can live without. Now she has to live inside and poop in a box for six weeks, and then we can let her out.

Maybe.  Continue reading


… is the practice of reading the future in animal guts. The Babylonians did it, and so did the Etruscans, who passed the practice on to the Romans. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but in my head it sounds like “extra spicy!”

Working in academia –> awesome factoids.

Song du jour of the day: Love Train, by the O jays!


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